TORRINGTON – The Goshen County School District board discussed the benefits of extracurricular activities during the regular meeting on Tuesday.
Student representatives to the board presented information from their schools on why students believe extracurricular activities enhance their education.
Klacie Groene at Torrington High School (THS) said 62% of boys and 68% of girls at the school participate in extracurricular activities. Groene said she surveyed 36 students as 63% believed their grades improved as a result of participating in extracurricular activities.
“The correlation of grades and participation is there among the student body,” Groene said. “Students love to participate in activities in equality experience. They want to exceed not just participate.”
Groene also said most freshmen are unaware of the activities available at the high school.
Kamryn Rafferty at Lingle-Fort Laramie High School said she interviewed her coaches about why they enjoy coaching.
One coach said she likes to teach students and said sports help students get involved in something bigger than themselves.
Rafferty said 42 out of 46 boys participate in an extracurricular activity. Rafferty added being a student athlete requires being a student first.
Alex McIntyre at Southeast High School sent out a survey to his fellow classmates which asked if participation in extracurricular activities influence attendance. 21 respondents said yes while eight said no. McIntyre also asked if there is an increase in school spirit when participating in extracurricular activities which 13 responded yes.
“School spirit is one of those things if you don’t really have it, school spirit, you’re not going to whole lot of extracurricular,” McIntyre said.
Students who participated in the survey also said there needs to be more recruitment of incoming freshmen to increase extracurricular participation.
Superintendent Ryan Kramer said the student representatives did a great job utilizing school data for their reports.
During public forum, Valley Christian Principal Crystal Woehlecke asked the board to approve the action item related to allowing Valley Christian students to participate in sports with the Torrington Middle School (TMS). Woehlecke said it is like home school as students have a choice and she sees it as a partnership between private and public schools.
The board approved Valley Christian students to participate in middle school sports with the district.
During old business the board approved District Policy 3381 (memorials for students and staff) on second and final reading, District Policy 3651.1 (gate receipts and admissions) on second and final reading, revisions to District Policy 4150.5/4241 (military leave) on second and final reading and revisions and title change to District Policy 4119.5/4219/5156 (sexual harassment) on second and final reading.
In new business, the board approved reinstating District Policy 5113 (student attendance). Trustee Carlos Saucedo proposed an amendment to also add parents as being responsible for student absences in elementary and middle school cases where children often do not have full control on whether or not they will get to school which was approved by the board.
The board also approved offering Eldon Hubbard a contract as an interim principal at THS offering contracts to Gabriel Skaria as a behavioral interventionist at THS, Lana Swingholm as a special education teacher at Trail Elementary, Browynn Larsen as an elementary teacher at Lincoln and Meghan Shimic as a special education teacher at Lincoln for the 2022-23 school year.
The board also approved resignations from District Transition Coordinator Steve Zimmerman and THS English teacher Stacey Bergeson, revisions to District Policy 4300/5100 (non-discrimination and anti-harassment procedure) on introduction and first reading, the updated GCSD#1 Smart Start Plan, an inter-governmental agreement with the city of Torrington and Torrington Police Department for school resource officers through 2025, contracting with SHI for district Microsoft licensing renewal for $26,300, contracting with STAR Autism Support Inc. for professional development services and online resources for $17,145, contracting with Brooke Larson LLC for autism behavior consulting services for $65,000, contracting with Sources of Strength for professional development services for TMS and THS staff for $11,000, contracting with Tiny EYE Therapy services for teletherapy services for $116,000, renewing district and building student intervention programs, adding high school girls wrestling programs at district high schools, adding middle school cross country programs at district middle schools, renewing annual maintenance support agreement with Long Mechanical Solutions for $24,950, contracting with Boiler Freak LLC for two replacement PK boilers at TMS, contracting with ATI Restoration Services in the Southeast auto and wood buildings for $360,889, contracting with Tobin and Associates for architectural services in the Southeast auto and wood buildings, student handbooks for the 2022-23 school year and authorizing the District Business Manager to pay fiscal year end bills by June 30.
An item relating to the practice and process of utilizing neurofeedback tool by guidance counselors was tabled until the next meeting.
The approved consent agenda also included the WDE Homeless Children and Youth grant for $47,973.77, a special education contract with Wyoming Child and Family Development Inc for GCSD#1 to provide services for occupational evaluations, occupational therapy and consultation by occupational therapist, a contract renewal with Follett School Solutions for Destiny library
Software fir $6,712.65, the purchase of additional Eureka2 elementary math textbooks and teacher editions from Great Minds for $4,591.28, the purchase of additional Eureka2 elementary math manipulatives from Didaz Incorporated in the total amount of $2,708.65, special education contracts with the Tuna Lindberg House in Caoser fir residential services not to exceed $27,261 and student day programming not to exceed $6,885 from Sept. 6 to Dec. 31 and special education contracts with Overtures of Longmont, Colorado for residential services not to exceed $52,134 and student day programming not to exceed $18,765 from July 1 through Nov. 30.
During the superintendent’s report, Kramer gave an update on Title IX investigative and legal work as well as May’s student enrollment report. Kramer said there will be a full year enrollment report at the next meeting.
Kramer also said there was a decrease in positive drug tests this year at 10 out of 477 tests.
At the conclusion of his report, Kramer addressed claims the district does not have a plan for active shooters which was brought up during public comment.
“We do have things in place to prevent those,” Kramer said. “To make and accusation that the school does not have a plan is dangerous and inaccurate.”
Kramer added it is not perfect and they continue to review and work on it to make it better. Kramer also said he has an open-door policy for anyone who has questions and concerns.
The next regular meeting is July 12 at 7 p.m.